For the longest time we’ve been told to engage in high intensity exercise, follow a high protein diet and lift heavy weights in order to improve our physical fitness and lose weight. But a recent study suggests that proper rest, recovery and sleep should be the priority. In fact, one high-end gym chain is now offering “sleep coaching” to its members as a way to help them reach their goals.
The Benefits Of Sleep Is Nothing New
Although this study brings an important issue to light, the truth is that we’ve known about the benefits of sleep for sometime; especially when it comes to improving our health and losing weight. However, the research (co-conducted by The University of California and Equinox Gyms), found that there were significant benefits to having a sleep coach. More specifically, the study showed that guided recovery sessions enabled subjects to increase aerobic performance, decrease body fat and increase endurance.
Equinox Fitness Clubs pursued the topic of sleep coaching for its latest clinical study as a way to further support its holistic approach to fitness, which integrates movement, nutrition and regeneration. In response to the study’s findings, the luxury gym chain now offers “Sleep Coaching” at 22 of its locations.
Study Participants Demonstrate Significant Improvements In Fitness
The participants who engaged in the 12-week sleep coaching study demonstrated the following improvements in physical performance when compared to the control group:
- Aerobic performance improved significantly. VO2 Max increased by 14.1% compared to the control group which improved by only 7.7%.
- Metabolic threshold improved by 29.8% in the sleep coaching group, compared to 16.2% in the control group. In other words, subjects saw improvements in their ability to exercise for longer periods, at higher intensities to burn calories more efficiently.
- The percentage of maximum oxygen uptake at which metabolic threshold occurred increased by 13.2% in the SC group compared to 9.0% in the control group, circulating more oxygen and allowing them to burn more calories.
Body composition also improved for both groups, with greater improvement amongst the SC group. Body fat percentage decreased 17.2% in the SC group compared to 7.1% in the control group.Although the research is valid, the information isn’t new. In fact, many professional athletes and new parents are already familiar with sleep coaching.